Raptor Chronicles
Message from the President
Happy Fledgling Season everyone! This month we're taking a closer look at two of our country's most commonly-seen urban raptors, the Cooper's hawk and red-tailed hawk. Depending on where you reside in the US, you'll start seeing the young of these two species venturing out of their nests now and in the coming weeks. Often they are heard before they're seen; the hungry babies get bolder by the day, waiting for their parents to bring back breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Animals living in urban and and suburban environments face a host of challenges, including vehicles, household pets, toxins and even nighttime lighting which can disrupt photo periods and sleep patterns. Those that manage to successfully navigate the human landscape and raise families often resort to unusual behaviors not typical of their wild counterparts. The quest to find food may also lead animals farther into human developments than anyone anticipates: just last week a young female mountain lion was discovered in a southwest Denver suburb, resting under a deck in the morning hours. She was just over a mile east of "my" Costco! Fortunately our partners at Colorado Parks & Wildlife tranquilized and relocated her to a safer and more suitable area, but her presence reminds us that humans share our living spaces with many other species, seen and unseen.

We hope you enjoy these incredible glimpses into the raptors that may be sharing YOUR neighborhood!~Anne Price, President
FINALLY! After 18 very long months and three missed gatherings, we are excited let everyone know that we are holding our
Fall Open House on Saturday, September 25th from 10:30AM to 1:30 PM. Mark your calendars now, and look for our RSVP link (which will be repeated and oft-publicized on our other platforms, we promise!) near the end of July. We may have a few changes due to Covid, but we'll have the mews open for folks to visit, as well as raptors on the front porch to enjoy up-close and personal. We're looking forward to seeing our friends and supporters in person once again!
Hudson Street Red-Tails Fledge
The three Hudson Street red-tailed hawks that Peter's been monitoring fledged on July 9th. He saw two of them in a neighbor's tree across from their nest. They had been vocalizing, as teenagers often do, when they're out on their own for the first time. This video follows them for several days from before they fledged, to several days afterwards.

The Homo sapiens neighbors of these common Colorado buteos are a very understanding bunch. They tolerate various body parts showing up on their lawns and patios, and sometimes they look out a window and see a large hawk with a mouse in its beak just inches away! Peter has taken over 250 minutes of footage and edited to slightly over 20 minutes. Look closely and you'll see a variety of diagnostic marks that identify these hawks. The pale white irises of the just-fledged hawks contrast with the dark irises and classic cinnamon-red tails of the adults. The bellies of the juveniles are also marked with brown spots, whereas the adult has more of an unmarked breast and "panel" (belly area).

These hawks, along with Swainson's hawks and great-horned owls, are becoming very urbanized. With lots of food available, such as eastern cottontail rabbits, these young hawks are quite well fed. Look for the bulging crops just below their throats for evidence of a recent meal. There will be a lot of food-begging cries for the next few weeks as mom and dad hawk begin to wean their offspring off of home delivery, as they urge their youngsters to pursue their own predatory instincts.
Lots of Other Ways to Help!
A Special Anniversary Offer on All Three of Our Books!
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Listen for us the first Saturday of the month at
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with the BirdTalk Guys,
Scott & David Menough. Click here!
Driving For Wildlife
Help us put another 1,000 eagles on the streets of our great state. Qualified members of REF are entitled to display them on their cars. Put Colorado's first and best environmental plates on YOUR vehicle!
One of our members sent us this picture of his Cobra with our license plates. Anyone else out there with a classic car wearing our eagle? Send us your image!
Special thanks to The Kroenke Group & THF Realty for extending our lease and keeping the fee at zero dollars though 2023! Support like this ensures we will make it through these challenging times.

Thanks to our past and future partners, THF Prairie Center Development, L.L.C., THF Prairie Center Investors, L.L.C. and the City of Brighton, for creating the best intersection in Colorado just a minute or two north of our headquarters!

As the new villages grow at Prairie Center, so do the streets with cool names!
We're looking for a gently-used, 20-25 foot RV (Class C) that would serve as a mobile office for traveling programs around Colorado and farther away. Or maybe you have an SUV or pickup truck you would like to donate? We can put it to good use! Please give our office a call if you have a vehicle you think we could use!
(303) 680-8500
Thank you!
Limited Edition Eagle Pin
An exclusive creation for us, this fine pewter pin has been hand painted to let everyone know what you think of America's living national symbol. Available in a very limited edition, while they last. This beautiful pin measures 1 1/8" by 1 1/2". Two clasps keep it firmly attached. $50 each includes shipping. Discounts for multiple purchases. Just click to order.

If you don't wish to use PayPal, then click here.
A New Print for 2021
This beautiful five-year study of our female bald eagle was photographed and composited by Marilyn Stevens. It measures 16″ x 20″ and is printed on fine photo paper with a “luster” finish. The print will fit many ready-made frames. To our knowledge this is the only available photographic sequence of an immature bald eagle showing off the plumage changes as she matures. Remember, both male and female look identical except for their size, but the male is about 30% smaller. Our foil seal is attached to the bottom of each print. (Not shown in the image above). This is a limited offer and the price includes shipping anywhere in the continental U.S.A. Only 10 left!
This limited offer is only available here. $40 for one print or $60 for two.
Pick it up at our office for only $25!
Proof of Quantum Mechanics in Avian Navigation
From Nature Magazine, this video documents the scientific journey that's bringing us closer to understanding the biology and quantum physics which enable birds to navigate during migrations. This short video is a must for anyone interested in the wonder of birds!
Join the 44 Families Supporting Our Raptor Sanctuary
Help Us Reach 100 Supporting Families!
Have you signed up for the King Soopers Community Rewards Program yet? Do you have a Loyalty Card and digital account? Just visit https://www.kingsoopers.com/o/store-services/community-rewards , log in and enroll to have REF receive donated funds from King Soopers and Kroger! We'd love to increase the number of families supporting us...please share with your friends and family!

OUR COMMUNITY REWARDS NUMBER IS TF405. Simply log into your account, look for "Community Rewards" on the left hand side, and enter TF405. Our name will appear, and you can link your card to REF. You save on groceries, earn fuel points, and we'll receive a quarterly donation from King Soopers.
Jeff Wang's Raptor Captures: The Cooper's Hawk
Don't blink, or you'll miss him (or her!) Welcome to the speedy, secretive world of the Cooper's hawk, the most common accipiter (short-winged hawk) in the United States. These small-ish raptors used to be difficult to spot in suburban environments, but in the last twenty years their numbers have surged in many cities across the US, including Denver.
You may not spot a Cooper's hawk in your backyard tree first, but we guarantee you that any bird in the vicinity will, especially if the "Coops" so much as moves a tail feather. With a very distinctive long-tailed and short-winged silhouette, their shape screams "bird hunter". Typically anything smaller than a crow will instantly flush to the closest bush or dense tree for cover.
Cooper's hawks look nearly identical to sharp-shinned hawks, Accipiter striatus, which are their smaller cousins. Both species have extremely-similar juvenile and adult plumages, though Cooper's hawks are larger. The eye color, ranging from yellow in the juvenile birds, to deep red in the adults, is also the same in both hawks. An additional challenge also comes from the fact that the sexual dimorphism, or the difference in appearance between the males and females (color and size) is very pronounced in accipiters in general.

This means it can be VERY tough to tell a female sharp-shinned hawk from a male Cooper's hawk. Probably one of the best ways is to look at the tails when the birds are perched on your deck, fence, or a bare tree branch in winter: Cooper's hawks have slightly-shorter outer tail feathers, so the tail looks curved when the bird has the feathers tightly folded...think Cooper's=CURVED. Conversely, the sharp-shinned hawk's tail feathers are pretty much the same length from the outermost to the two central tail feathers. This means when the tail is folded, it looks squared-off, with nice, sharp corners...think SHARP corners=SHARP-shinned.
Automatic Monthly Donations: Thanks to everyone who has set up a monthly donation via PayPal. We have people from both coasts, a few states in the middle, and in Colorado contributing monthly pledges automatically...thank you!!
REF Staff: Anne Price, President & Curator; Peter Reshetniak, Founder & Director of Special Projects; Savannah Grout, Mews Manager
Docents: Elise Bales, Morgan Brantmeyer, Kevin Corwin, Karen Gonzalez, Bernhard Hafner, Kim Kistler, Linda Julia, Jennifer McAllister, Anne Price, Jennifer Redmond, Peter Reshetniak, Beverly Rice, Mitch Skinner, Ann Stanz